I tuck one of these fanciful Santas into every gift cookie tray I make. They're a guaranteed hit with kids—young and old. And I like that they're not too difficult to assemble. —Mrs. Andrew Syer, Oak Ridge, Missouri
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Red paste food coloring
- Miniature chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons milk, divided
- White nonpareils, sugar pearls and red-hot candies
- Additional miniature semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and mix well. Remove 1-3/4 cups dough; tint red. Shape white dough into 12 balls, 3/4 in. each, and 60 balls, 1/4 in. each. Shape red dough into 12 balls, 1 in. each, and 60 balls, 1/2 in. each.
- Place the 1-in. red balls on two ungreased baking sheets for the body of 12 Santas; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Attach 3/4-in. white balls for heads; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Attach four 1/2-in. red balls to each Santa for arms and legs. Attach 1/4-in. white balls to ends of arms and legs for hands and feet.
- Shape remaining 1/2-in. red balls into hats. Attach remaining 1/4-in. white balls to tips of hats. Place inverted chocolate chips for eyes and buttons.
- Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes; carefully remove from pans to wire racks (cookies will be fragile).
- For icing, combine shortening and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. Gradually add 1-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar; add 1 tablespoon milk. Gradually add remaining sugar and milk.
- Pipe a band of icing on hat, cuffs at hands and feet, and down the front and at bottom of jacket. Pipe swirls of icing on tip of hat and for beard. Sprinkle nonpareils and sugar pearls over icing on hat and beard. Place a red-hot candy for mouth. Spread melted chocolate for boots. Let stand until set. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Roly-Poly Santas in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p30
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